Reflection on Turkey

My time left here amounts to 1 hour, and I am almost too worn out to even grasp the change that I’m about to make. Istanbul was starting to become a real home to me, and it seems like I’ve been here forever. I’m a bit sad that I gave up on staying here, because I began to make friends and settle in towards the end. But, I also am excited to see what my upcoming travels will bring.

 

I feel a lot older, and more stable, after my time in Turkey. I guess the way in which I most changed while here was in valuing myself and others. I am finding a core set of principles and behaviors that I consider to be “me”, and I am less likely to compromise those behaviors just because someone expects me to behave otherwise. I am more comfortable in standing up for my choices. And towards others, I am trying to devote more energy to helping people. This can mean something as simple as allowing someone else to be heard, and being truly invested in hearing about their life in conversation. Many people are interested in my life and my project, and I’m realizing that I have to give back by validating other people’s experiences, too. I have a gift for listening and motivating people, and I need to apply it more liberally.

 

And one big thing that I have realized is that a lot of things are going to happen over the course of my lifetime. I should enjoy them while they’re here and then let them go. You can’t get too caught up in this thing that didn’t go right, or that thing that was wonderful but didn’t last long enough. More stuff is going to keep on happening, and you have to be on your toes for it. Realizing this has taken away the antsy feeling I had before of wanting everything in my life to happen all at once.

 

I will have even more time to reflect in the upcoming 3 weeks of travel. Hopefully I can get some rest, but it’s not likely– these night trains are fixing to wear out my poor old bones more than they already are.

 

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